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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will hold an investigation into disruptions to the service on the Norwich to London railway line (a) at Christmas 2007 and (b) throughout 2007. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation has launched an investigation into Network Rails management of engineering projects including the causes of the engineering overrun at Liverpool Street over Christmas and new year, and expect to announce their preliminary findings by 29 February 2008. We will not seek to pre-empt the Office of Rail Regulation by speculating on causes before the report is issued.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department does not receive the information at this level of detail. Information about specific causes of delay is collected and processed by Network Rail. The hon. Member should therefore contact Network Rails chief executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to ascertain the reasons for the delay in the completion of works to the railway infrastructure near London Liverpool Street station over the Christmas and new year holiday period; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), as the rail industrys economic regulator, monitors Network Rails stewardship of the national rail network. The ORR has launched an investigation into the cause of this over-run and expects to publish its findings by the end February. It would be inappropriate to make a statement before the report is published.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 600W, on railways: safety measures, if she will place in the Library the full research data from which the review referred to was compiled, with particular reference to the test data reviewed in section 9.4 of the report. 
Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 9 January 2008]: The research referred to in the question was commissioned by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB). RSSB has no plans to publish any material relating to hammers. Having reached the conclusion that escape through windows of passenger trains should not be encouraged, RSSB concluded that the work on hammers should cease. There is therefore no final report or validated set of data relating to hammers. The final report on the overall approach to passenger containment, to which the hon. Gentleman refers in his question, is available on the RSSB website at:
Mr. Tom Harris: I understand Network Rail has consulted rail industry parties on possible changes to the Swindon to Kemble line. However, this is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what process a road safety grant, provided for by section 1 of the Road Safety Act 2006, is awarded to a local authority or any other body. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Section 1 of the Road Safety Act provides powers for Government to make payments to local authorities or any other authority or body for meeting the costs of measures for promoting road safety.
There is no single mechanism for award of grant under this legislation, but in the case of Road Safety Partnership Grant, bids for grant are invited to address specific road safety issues and priorities, and are then
assessed against project criteria. Grant is awarded to those bidders who best satisfy the project criteria and road safety priorities.
It is envisaged that the powers under this legislation will also be used to award grants associated with road safety trials or demonstration projects. In such cases, grant will be awarded to authorities or bodies on the basis of their particular experience of a road safety issue, or its solution.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will request Passenger Focus to conduct a study into passenger comfort on Desiro Class 450 trains; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State will not request Passenger Focus to conduct a study as the independent study which was commissioned and funded by South West Trains was reviewed by Passenger Focus. The findings of this report are available on the South West Trains Website:
Mr. Tom Harris: The provision of a new station at Imperial Wharf was agreed between the local authority and the developer as part of the wider development of the area. The costs of the station are therefore not a matter for the Department for Transport but for the local authority.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1225W, on the communications allowance, why the allowance is being increased by the retail prices index rather than the consumer prices index. 
Helen Goodman: The communications allowance is uprated annually from 1 April in line with the RPI for the preceding December. This is in accordance with the MEC report on the allowance (HC 319, 2006-07) which was approved by the House on 28 March 2007. This is the same as the uprating procedures for IEP and ACA.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1225W, on the communications allowance, what representations she has received supporting an increase in the communications allowance by more than the rate of inflation; and what assessment she has made of such representations. 
Helen Goodman: I have received no such representations. The communications allowance is uprated each year in line with the retail prices index. This follows the recommendations of the report of the Members Estimate Committee (HC 182, 2006-07) which was approved by the House on 28 March 2007.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1225W, on the communications allowance, what the aggregated budgeted expenditure on the communications allowance is expected to be in 2007-08. 
Helen Goodman: The communications allowances was introduced in April 2007 and set at £10,000 per annum for each hon. Member, with the possibility of adding money transferred from staffing and IEPincidental expenses provision. The maximum spend from the basic allowance in one year is therefore £6.46 million. The Members Estimate Committee, in its report on the communications allowance (HC 319, 2006-07) assumed similar take-up to the other allowances. As noted in the report, this equates to a likely total annual cost of the allowance of about £6 million. Currently spending on the communications allowance is running below this level.
Derek Twigg: No. The Annual Army Abstract report is restricted management as it may disclose sensitive personal information and redacting historical information could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the rest and recuperation arrangements for armed forces personnel during their deployment on operational tours. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A number of studies on the future size and disposition of United Kingdom armed forces on operations are currently ongoing. This work will include an assessment of the adequacy of welfare provision in the long term and any changes will be announced in due course. In the meantime, the current arrangements for rest and recuperation will continue to apply as per our previous correspondence.
Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave him on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1024W, and 17 December 2007, Official Report, columns 1029-30W, which described much of the support available to all members of service families experiencing relationship difficulties.
A former spouse of a service person who no longer lives in the service community will receive support from local authorities or devolved administrations who have statutory responsibilities for appropriate services. Also, service charities will often become, or remain, involved in supporting needy cases, including the former spouses of service personnel. For example, SSAFA-Forces Help operates Stepping Stone Homes as transitional assistance specifically for the separated or divorced former dependants of service personnel.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will break down by married accommodation location the married service personnel based at (a) Woolwich, (b) Wellington Barracks, (c) Hounslow and (d) Windsor. 
Staff working in London are entitled to be housed within 90 minutes travel time (using public transport) of their permanent duty station. Therefore there is no direct linkage between the married accommodation at each of the sites and the basing of service personnel at those sites. However, the numbers of service family accommodation at each of the requested locations is as follows:
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reasons were for the decision to change the abbreviated description for UK armed forces for badging and identification purposes while deployed from UK to GBR. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 17 December 2007]: In 2004, NATOs Standardisation Agreement 1059 (STANAG 1059), which provides agreed Letter Codes for Geographical Entities, was amended to replace the previous two letter country code with three letter codes based on those used by the International Organisation for Standards (the ISO 3166-1 standard). As a result, the standard NATO letter code for the United Kingdom changed from UK to GBR.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the monthly Defence Analytical Services Agency British Army Statistics Report issued since April 1997. 
Derek Twigg: No. The Defence Analytical Services Agency British Army Statistics report is restricted management as it may disclose sensitive personal information and redacting the historical information could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) total outflow and (b) voluntary exit rate was of (i) officers, (ii) other ranks and (iii) all personnel in the Army in each month since January 2006. 
Derek Twigg: Army figures for total outflow and voluntary exit rates broken down by officers and other ranks since January 2006 can be found in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 5 Trained Outflow to Civil Life. Monthly figures show the number of personnel who have outflowed in the previous 12 month period. TSP 5 is published monthly and all publications can be found at:
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